A fifth-generation coal miner is telling President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE that “coal mining isn’t coming back.”
“[I]t's time to get real about it,” Nick Mullins says in an op-ed video published by The New York Times on Thursday. “I’m a fifth-generation coal miner and a ninth-generation Appalachian from Virginia.”
Mullins, who says he spent four years in the coal industry, describes the work was dangerous, adding that it came with “a lot of long-term health impacts.”
The video then transitions to Trump delivering remarks at several rallies, saying to an audience of cheers, “We love our coal miners” and “Miners are going back to work.”
Mullins, however, says those “false promises" will only "line the pockets of coal executives while delaying the inevitable.”
“If Trump really wants to help Appalachian communities that support him, lowering emissions standards is not the way to do it,” Mullins says. “The industry has never been on the side of the coal miner.”
“The coal companies were quick to create around coal mining, around the hard work and patriotic duty and sacrifice for families,” he adds. “But they did it with a total disregards for our safety.”
Mullins also says coal miners still have to fight for black lung and disability benefits, as well as workers' compensation.
The video then cuts to a montage of video of Trump referring to coal as “clean.”
“Coal cannot be clean. We know that firsthand,” Mullins responds before discussing acidic water drainage in metal or coal mines.
“Miners don’t want to be told about climate change,” Mullins says, “but at some point, we have to realize that the environmental impacts of the industry aren’t a partisan issue. They’re a matter of life and death.”
“We don’t need short-term revivals of an industry that has always mistreated us. We need long-term investments into our communities,” Mullins adds.
“This is the only way to give justice to the communities who sacrificed so much to provide the energy and steel that has made this nation so great."